9 Tips to Protect Your Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting adds safety and aesthetics to your home, but, over time, many homeowners see both of these appealing aspects decline. Whether it’s the elements or accidents, outdoor lighting is susceptible to damage, and these fixtures require a bit of maintenance and upkeep to protect your investment.
Common Types of Damage to Outdoor Lighting
When you’re looking for ways to protect your outdoor lighting, consider weather, accidents, and pests. Some of the most common issues that the experts at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning name see with outdoor lighting for homes in the Seattle area are:
- Damaged electrical connections
- Frayed wiring
- Deteriorating wiring sheaths
- Broken bulbs
- Pest damage
- Weathering and finish damage
- Broken mounts and stands
Repair or Replace Damaged Outdoor Lighting
Many problems that occur with outdoor lighting can be remedied by performing repairs, but we do recommend that you leave the work to one of our expert technicians at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning. When it comes to any type of electrical appliance or fixture in your home, being cautious can ensure that the chances of additional damage or fire is minimized. Additionally, even the most experienced DIY homeowner runs the risk of electrical injuries when working with outdoor lighting fixtures. Here are nine tips for protecting your outdoor lighting so you can enjoy the safety and appearance for many years.
1. Proper Installation
As they say, prevention is always the best solution. Properly installing outdoor lights can minimize the damage to the fixtures. This includes mounting the lights in the best locations and making sure that the lights are wired correctly. When you’re getting ready to install new lighting for the landscaping of your Seattle home, proper installation is key. If the property already has outdoor lights, and you only want to replace the fixture, you may be able to handle the job on your own. You should check the entire lighting system, though, to make sure that the wires are in good shape and that your electrical system has the capacity for the new lights. If your property does not have existing lighting outdoors, it’s best to leave the job to an expert technician from Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning. We not only install the outdoor lights but also recommend the best locations based on safety, access to the current electrical system, and aesthetics for your property.
2. Consider Location
You may need to move your outdoor lights or change your landscape plan to protect the fixtures. Outdoor lights should be set up away from any areas where there is a risk of debris, such as tree branches. For lights that are being mounted on a deck or porch, find a location that provides some protection from the elements rather than leaving the light completely exposed. Overhangs are ideal for security lights, and the space allows for any motion detectors to be triggered when someone comes on your property.
3. Use Solar Lighting When Possible
If you plan on installing outdoor lights along pathways or in areas of your garden and other outdoor spaces, using solar lighting is a great option to protect your investment. The units do not require any wiring, so you needn’t worry about damage from the lawn mower, pests, or accidents. Additionally, no wiring means that there is no risk of water damage that can cause short circuits. Solar lights work by collecting energy from the sun during the day and converting it into stored energy in the batteries. Once the sun goes down, the lights turn on automatically and run until the batteries are empty. Solar units for outdoor lighting are sealed, so no water can get inside.
4. Consider Battery-Operated LED Lights
LED lights are among the brightest and energy-efficient outdoor lights available for homes in the Seattle area. This is a great option for areas of your property that are away from other light sources. You can add security and ambiance by adding just a few of these lights to a walkway, patio, porch, BBQ area, or garden. While solar lights turn on at sunset, battery-operated LED lights do require you to turn on each individual light at night and turn them off before you turn in for the evening.
5. Cover Your Wired Outdoor Lighting
If you have outdoor lighting that is hard wired to your electrical system, we recommend that you install a protective cover on each light. The covers prevent water and pests from getting inside and damaging the unit. The shields are completely clear, so they will not diminish the light output of the fixture. You will need to perform some upkeep, though, to keep the shields clean. Any dirt or debris that gets on the shield will affect the quality of light from your outdoor fixtures.
6. Use Surge Protectors Rated for Outdoor Lighting
Electrical surges can damage outdoor lighting in the same way as your appliances and electronics inside your home. If you’re running a wired system, we recommend that you install a surge protector that’s rated for use outdoors and with lighting. If you are unsure about the type of surge protector that you need, call the experts at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning for some help. We will tell you what type of surge protector to get, where to find it, and how to install it. You can also schedule a time for one of our technicians to come by and install the surge protector for you.
7. Pest Control
Whether you have ants, mice, rabbits, or deer around your Seattle property, these critters can do a great deal of damage in a very short amount of time. You can hire a pest control company to treat your property and install barriers for small animals. If you prefer a more natural solution, consider making your property safe for birds, bats, and other animals that feed on the smaller pests.
8. Use the Correct Bulbs
When it comes to outdoor lighting, putting the wrong style or strength of bulb in a fixture can cause a lot of problems. Make sure to read the owner’s manual for your outdoor lighting, and follow the manufacturer’s requirements for the bulbs. If you don’t have an owner’s manual or aren’t sure of the type of bulb for your outdoor lights, call us at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning. We will help you find the best bulb for your outdoor lights.
9. Deter Thieves
Unfortunately, there are some thieves who take outdoor lights from homes. Wired lighting and security lighting offer a bit more challenge for these individuals, but solar lights and battery-operated LED lights are quite easy to steal. We always recommend that homeowners in the Seattle area have at least one wired security light for every side of their homes. The light should be fairly sensitive to motion and sound. You may also want to install cameras and alarms. If you prefer not to use other security measures, your best option is to install solar and battery-operated LED lights in locations that are difficult to reach. Some homeowners also use concrete in the mounting holes for their outdoor lights.
Learn More About Outdoor Lighting From the Experts
Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in heating, cooling, and electrical installation, repair, and maintenance services for homes in the Seattle area, If you have questions about your outdoor lighting, please give us a call. Be sure to ask about our duct cleaning services, gas fireplaces, and indoor air quality products.